“Jews don’t believe in Heaven.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have topped the list of meme-able moments from Tuesday’s State of the Union address when she attempted a high-five that went unrequited.
The moment: With the Democrat-led House recently sworn-in and the country’s longest government shutdown only-just concluded, President Donald Trump’s speech was bound to be fraught.
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Most-discussed among the night’s many GIF-worthy clips was the eruption of Democratic women in a chorus of cheers after the president boasted about the high percentage of females who joined the workforce last year. Dressed in “suffragette white,” the women rose to an enthusiastic standing ovation, chanting, “USA! USA!”
For liberals, it symbolized a reclamation: Congresswomen refusing to let Trump take the credit for high female participation in the job market.
But wrapped within the feminist pseudo-protest was what conservative influencer Caleb Hull deemed the evening’s “highlight”: AOC’s mysterious high five that went nowhere. In the frisson of the applause, the 29-year-old freshman lawmaker was seen throwing her hand in a purposeful high-five that met only air.
Was she ignored by resentful colleagues? Was she sending an air-five across the room? Or was she perhaps high-fiving an imaginary left-wing “bestie“?
Highlight of the #StateOfTheUnion:@AOC high fives the air. pic.twitter.com/FUnOgXQLw4
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) February 6, 2019
Pouting Pelosi: Left-leaning media outlets were more focused on other nuggets, desperate as always to find the portents of Trump’s demise in every viral frame.
Take House Speaker Nancy Pelosi applauding Trump, who had just praised the “the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good.” Where some saw a gesture of reconciliation after the extended shutdown standoff between the two, others saw her clap-and-smirk as a power move, as if in every thwack of her hands she both patronized Trump and reminded him, “the Mueller indictments are coming.” (Wait, didn’t the left just say that smirking is the new swastika?)
Who knew clapping could convey rage, disdain and threats of revenge… pic.twitter.com/u9c4lXM4ri
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) February 6, 2019
Another picture that filled liberals with joy was of 11-year-old Joshua Trump dozing off. The boy, bullied by kids in school due to his last name, was invited by the first lady to attend the speech. The young, nonconsanguineous Trump accepted, but he never promised to stay awake.
JOSHUA TRUMP RULES pic.twitter.com/Opc88adMfB
— Josh Weinberg (@josh_weinberg) February 6, 2019
Score for the “#resistance.”
Scoreboard: On the right, the speech was praised almost unanimously, even by so-called never-Trumpers. “A home run,” it was dubbed by The National Review’s Jim Geraghty. Less surprisingly, it was hailed by Charlie Kirk as “the best State of the Union speech of our generation.”
The president was praised by Jewish outlets for honoring a Holocaust survivor and condemning global anti-Semitism. Iranian outlets rebuked him for the latter.
On the left, CNN’s John King said it was a “disgrace” for Trump not to mention climate change. While others were shaken by the time the president spent laying out a pro-life agenda.
The media’s fastidious fact checkers, meanwhile, spent the whole speech scrutinizing over the president’s every word, which led to some truly spectacular gotcha-scoops like the following, by The New York Times’ White House correspondent.
Trump just ad-libbed “they came down from heaven” when quoting a Holocaust survivor watching American soldiers liberate Dachau. Jews don’t believe in heaven.
— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) February 6, 2019
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